UASA Media Release: 07 June 2022
Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:
Against the background of the tough economic challenges bought upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic, UASA is pleased with the increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1,9% in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.
In its Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) dated 31 May 2022, Stats SA reported that unemployment stood at 34,5% in Q1 of 2022. As much as we are pleased with the GDP growth post Covid-19, South Africa still has a long way to go toward economic recovery.
A country where the majority is unemployed will only result in people barely surviving in poverty, with a heavier burden dumped on taxpayers to keep the economy alive. The latest QLFS shows that household final consumption expenditure increased by 1,4% in Q1, contributing 1,0 percentage point to total growth, with the main contributions to growth expenditure on durable goods, nondurable goods and services.
Increased economic activity was reported for land transport and communication services as well as wholesale trade, retail trade, motor trade and catering and accommodation services.
The manufacturing industry increased by 4,9% in the first quarter, contributing 0,6 of a percentage point to GDP growth. Of concern is that both mining and construction contracted in the first quarter. Mining output was lower, mainly due to a pullback in the production of platinum group metals, iron ore and gold.
Construction also saw its fourth consecutive quarter of contraction, with underwhelming results reported for residential buildings and construction works.
Economic activity related to non-residential buildings, however, increased in the first quarter. UASA urges government to focus more keenly on reviving the economy and aiding growth to levels where the unemployment rate is significantly reduced, to help ease the burden on workers and citizens.
For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162 .